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Top 22 Tourist Places in Goa

Clean Beaches, Historic Forts, Colorful Markets and Must-see Attractions

There are plenty of amazing things to see and do in Goa. From the beaches, to the national parks and hills, to the churches, forts, markets, and the backwaters, there are so many tourist attractions in Goa that it may be difficult to see them all in one visit if you don’t have a list to guide you. So here’s a list of the must see places in Goa that you must definitely include in your tour planning.

Many of the tourist places included here are famous landmarks, UNESCO World Heritage sites, beautiful churches, interesting local markets, old Portuguese structures that will give you insights into the Goa of before, and of course, there are the top beaches, water sports, and natural attractions, which you cannot miss.

So do take a look. Make sure you don’t miss these best places to visit in Goa:

Map of the places to visit in Goa

#1 – Agonda Beach

Agonda Beach in South Goa

There are more than 30 beaches in Goa, but Agonda beach in South Goa clearly stands out. 39.2 kilometers from Margao, this is an isolated stretch of sand lined by palm groves. It is a very quiet, peaceful, and picturesque beach with few tourists. There is a turtle center in the north, and rocky outcrops in the south. Developed tourist infrastructure! Many shops, cafes, beach shacks, bars, restaurants, yoga centers, massage, but you will still get a less “touristic feel” here.

TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice® awards have ranked Agonda as Asia’s #1 beach for 2018. Back in 2016 as well, TripAdvisor ranked Agonda as Asia’s 4th best beach, and the first in India.

#2 – Fort Aguada

Fort Aguada

This is an old Portuguese fort from the 17th century. Sitting at the confluence of the Mandovi River, the Portuguese constructed this fort as a defence against the Marathas and the Dutch. There is a deep dry moat here, and a 13 metre high lighthouse, which was constructed in 1864. Many buildings within the fort are still in very good condition.

From Aguada, you can get awesome views of the shoreline, the Arabian Sea, Mandovi River, and even the city of Panaji, which is on the other side of the river.

#3 – Chapora Fort

Chapora Gort

The Chapora fort is located in North Goa, close to Vagator beach, and next to where the Chapora River meets the Arabian Sea. This fort is a must visit for those in love with Bollywood Hindi movies. The famous Bollywood movie “Dil Chahta Hai” was filmed here. The fort is almost in ruins now, but it still offers incredible views of the river and the coastline. Plenty of photo opportunities here!

  • Distance from Panaji – 21.7 kilometers by the NH66.

#4 – Dudhsagar Falls

Dudhsagar Water Falls

Witness the fury of nature, in what is one of India’s tallest and most powerful waterfalls. Dudhsagar Falls is 47 kilometers from Margao by the MDR52 and is located on the Goa-Karnataka border. It looks most impressive in the monsoon, during the rains when there is maximum water.

The white water of the falls cascades down for 1017 feet from a steep mountain face. You can view it from a train journey to and from Margao, or you can trek to the base of the falls after you reach the starting point by road. You have to trek through the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park. There are many viewpoints along the way.

#5 – Baga Beach

Baga Beach

Baga beach in North Goa is one of Goa’s most popular beaches. To the north is the Baga River, and the south is the Calangute Beach. The Baga-Calangute stretch is one of the longest sandy shores in Goa. Beach shacks, pubs, restaurants, shops, nightclubs, water sports… there is everything in Baga. Water sport options include banana riding, speed boats, paddle boarding, paragliding, surf boarding, and more. Britto’s at the northern end of the beach is a famous shack. Club Tito’s and Cafe Mambo are two famous Goa nightclubs, both in Baga.

#6 – Anjuna Wednesday Market

Goa Markets

Started by hippies in the 1960s, the Anjuna flea market is a landmark in Goa. It is at the southern end of the Anjuna beach, open on Wednesdays between 9 AM and 6 PM. There are more than 500 stalls selling handicrafts, handmade jewelry, Kashmiri and Tibetan goods, bags, clothing, tribal artifacts, and more. There are food stalls, and bands playing jazz, rock, and more. The Anjuna flea market is a must-visit.

#7 – Basilica of Bom Jesus

Basilica of Bom Jesus Se Cathedral Goa

The body of St. Francis Xavier is kept preserved at the Bom Jesus Basilica in Goa, making this one of the most important tourist attractions, and a landmark for Catholics from around the world. It also is an UNESCO World Heritage site.

The Church was constructed in baroque style in 1605. The Saint’s body was brought here in 1622, and it has since then been laid in a glass mausoleum. There is also a gallery of Modern Art in the Basilica.

  • Timings: 9.00 am — 6.30 pm
  • Distance from Panaji – 12 kilometers by the NH748.

#8 – Thalassa Restaurant

Thalassa Restaurant in Vagator Goa

Located at Vagator, this eatery offers the best Greek and Mediterranean food in Goa. Good décor and awesome views of the Arabian Sea! Good music in the evening. The meat platter, mock tails, baklava, vegetable moussaka, mushroom saganaki, chocolate cake, and the chocolate cheesecake are some of the favorites here. Their seafood, including prawns, and calamari are also legendary. See the sunset from here with a drink if you are in North Goa, and you may want to stay back till dinner.

#9 – Mapusa Market

Mapusa Municipal Market Goa

The Mapusa Market is about half an hour by road from the Anjuna Beach in North Goa. Open on Fridays, this is one of the biggest, most colorful and interesting markets in Goa. People from the villages and far-off places come here to sell their produce. There is a wide variety of fish, meat, and vegetables, fresh spices, fruits, flowers, nuts, Goan home-made chouriço, marinated pork sausages, pickles, ropes, coir mats, jewelry, clothes, and even wines. The stores are grouped together by the type of products sold.

#10 – Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception

Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception

Also called the “Immaculate Conception Church”, this beautiful church is located in Goa’s capita Panaji, close to the Mandovi Bridge. It used to be a chapel in 1541. The larger church building came up only in 1619. Since then, many revisions and improvements have been carried out, but the original building remains.

Devotees have been coming here from all over for a long time. Old Portuguese sailors offered their thanks and prayers before or after sailing. There is a feast every year on December 8th, which many locals and tourists attend.

  • Timings: 10 am — 12.30 pm, 3 — 5.30 pm

#11 – Latin Quarter

Latin Quarter Goa

The Fontainhas neighbourhood is Goa’s Old Latin Quarter, a UNESCO Heritage Zone. It is located in Panjim. This is a must visit, as you will be transported immediately to another age. The narrow winding lanes and streets, old buildings, quaint shops, bakeries, restaurants, and art galleries are extremely charming.

Don’t miss the Portuguese mansions here. Watch out for the red tiles roofs and the projecting balconies. They have a distinct Mediterranean feel. There is a heritage walk of the Fontainhas neighbourhood as well you may want to go on.

#12 – Naval Aviation Museum

Naval Aviation Museum Goa

Visiting the naval museum is going to be a unique experience you will remember for long. It’s the only Naval Aviation Museum in India and is in fact quite unique in Asia.

There is both an indoor and outdoor section with exhibits that include bombs, rockets, aircrafts, parachutes, protective gears, armaments, outfits of pilots and much more. This will surely be a must visit if you are interested in the defence forces.

#13 – Casino in Panjim

Casino in Panjim Goa

Casino gaming is big in Goa, the only place in India where you can legally play casino games. Many of the casinos are located just off Panjim, on the Mandovi River. They are floating casinos on ships. Some of the most famous Goa casinos are Deltin Royale, Casino Paradise, Deltin Jaqk, Casino Carnival, Casino Pearl, Casino Pride, and Casino Paradise. There are a few land-based private resorts too where the casino games are available.

There is live music, dancing, and entertainment shows as well, apart from the usual games – Indian Flush, poker, black jack, and baccarat.

#14 – Grande Island

Grande Island Goa

Grande Island Ilha Grande is located in the Arabian Sea, off the coast of Vasco da Gama. There are ferry services from the mainland. This is where you go for scuba diving, reef diving, snorkelling, swimming, plenty of water sports activities, fishing, and even dolphin watching. It’s a great place for both beginner and advanced divers and snorkelers.

You can explore ship wrecks as well, including the Suzy wreck, the Davy Jones Locker, Turbo Tunnel, Bounty Rock, and the Serge City. Professional instructors are available. There are banana boat and bumper boat rides too. Just carry your swimming and beach essentials. You can also go on a daylong fishing trip from 8 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon, and finish off with a barbecue.

#15 – Go Kart Racing

Go Kart Racing in Nuvem Goa

Go karting is great fun. The sport is becoming very popular in India. There are two tracks in Goa, at Nuvem in South Goa, and Arpora in North Goa. The one at Nuvem is the largest carting track in India. The 482 meters track is on a hill, just behind the Tata Motors Showroom. There are many turns here, some more complicated than others, which the skilled drivers will especially love. There is a huge bulletin board that displays the racing data.

The Nuvem track is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. The North Goa track at Arpora is shorter, and has fewer turns.

#16 – Paragliding in Arambol

Paragliding in Arambol Goa

Arambol in North Goa is a good place for paragliding. Take off from a rocky headland and get an amazing view from the top. You have to trek to the top of the headland, and then your pilot will give you some brief instructions, and will explain the safety precautions. Fly sky high over Arambol and see the shoreline from the top, the sea, and the interiors. It will be a memorable experience.

#17 – Hill Top Club in Anjuna

Hill Top Club in Anjuna

The Hilltop Nightclub is located between Ozran Beach and Anjuna on the top of a hill. This is one of the best places in Goa for trance music and rave parties. There is a big area for people to drink and dance. The outside area is lit up with pretty lights. There is a swimming pool too. Thousands attend the rave parties during the weekends in the peak season. The DJs are from England, Sweden, Italy, France, Russia, Germany, Israel, and India.

#18 – Arambol Hippie Festival

Arambol Hippie Festival

Arambol used to be popular with the hippies. They are long gone, but you will still find the hippie spirit here. There are songs, and stories of their times, and the free spirit. Music brings a whiff of fresh air at the Drum Circles in Arambol, where the locals and tourists come together to enjoy music, dancing, and drumming to remember the days of the hippies.

#19 – Fort Cabo De Rama

Fort Cabo De Rama Goa

The Cabo de Rama Fort is in South Goa, 17.2 kilometers from Agonda Beach. This old fort has been held by the Portuguese, Hindu, and Muslim monarchs at various times. There was a chapel and commandant quarters within the fort during the Portuguese days. There used to be a military barrack here as well. After the Portuguese left, the fort was turned into a prison for a short time. Now it is in ruins, but is still a popular tourist spot. You will get very good views of the sea and the surrounding landscape from the top. It is a great place to see sunsets.

#20 – Terekhol Fort

Terekhol Fort Goa

The Terekhol or Tiracol Fort is in extreme North Goa, on the northern side of the Terekhol River. Technically, the fort is in the state of Maharashtra, as the state lines pass through the middle of the river. But many tourists visit the fort, especially those staying in North Goa, taking the ferry from Querim.

It was constructed in the 17th century by Maharaja Khem Sawant Bhonsle, a Marathi ruler. The fort sits on a hill and gives a commanding view of the river and the sea. There was a barrack and 12 guns here, but the fort still fell to the Portuguese. They extensively revamped the fort in 1764 and held it for strategic maritime defense till 1961 when Goa became a part of India.

#21 – Amboli Waterfalls

Amboli Falls Goa

Amboli in the Western Ghats is a “Eco Hot-Spot” as there are many unusual fauna and flora here. The Amboli Ghat waterfall is just 78.2 kilometers from Panjim. It is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Western Ghat hills. It really comes alive just after the monsoon months. There is a lot of greenery and mist. The drive through the hilly roads and the roar you hear once you come close to the falls is worth taking the two hour road trip from Panjim.

#22 – Palolem Beach

Palolem Beach in South Goa

Palolem beach is the on of the best beaches in South Goa. It is a natural bay with lofty headlands on both the sides. Palolem is close to another beautiful beach in the south – Agonda. Cola and the beautiful Butterfly beach are also close. They are more secluded. Palolem is also a hot party destination. There is Silent Noise parties here every Saturday from 9 pm till 4 in the morning at the southernmost part of the beach, which is also called the Neptune Point.

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